We watch the adverts on TV and we see the Comic Relief pleas for help, but when you get to Kenya, the reality of the situation becomes real. This is not just a TV documentary – people actually live in mud huts, make meals out of anything they can get their hands on and walk miles for water every day of their lives!
Tsavo is a stunningly beautiful place; much hillier and rockier than I had expected with a welcomed breeze. Home to some of Africa’s most famous animals, we were woken by baboons and heard elephants trumpeting in the distance whilst brushing our teeth!
We visited Itinyi Primary School, not far from camp, and were met by crowds of smiling children dressed in torn, ragged clothes. We learned that the majority of children walked for around an hour to get to school and would only eat one meal a day. Despite the school having cooking facilities, there was not enough food to feed everyone all of the time.
From Tsavo, we travelled south towards Muhaka. The ground slowly began to get less red and more black and muddy. Palm trees were springing up too and by the time we arrived in camp, we were really starting to feel the heat!
In Camp Muhaka, monkeys roam free and the bush babies’ cry can be heard at night. We went on a tour around the village and met a man who has been paralysed since 2015. He was left homeless and suffering in the streets as he had no-one to support him. In summer 2017, Camps International students went out and built him a house to live in as well as buying him a mattress. It has changed his life. The next step is that he needs either a wheelchair or an operation to insert plates into his pelvis to enable him to walk again. Either of these options would cost just under £400. This is so doable and with help from Camps International fundraising, this man will soon be able to have the operation needed to allow him to walk again!
Without a doubt, the thing that makes Kenya so special is the people. They are so open and welcoming and it’s easy to have a chat to the locals and get a real insight into their way of life which is so interesting and completely different to how we live in the UK! Wherever you go, people wave and shout ‘Jambo!’ which means ‘hello’ and children come running towards the vehicle, eager to have a look and wave. My best memories of the trip are definitely full of smiling Kenyan faces!